Pathways to a sustainable European pulp and paper industry: Trade-offs between different technologies and system solutions for kraft pulp mills
Paper in proceedings, 2009
Earlier studies have shown that for chemical pulp mills there are many technologies and system solutions which can increase energy efficiency and thus reduce the process energy demand and consequently also the global emissions of CO2. Which technology pathway (combination of technologies and system solutions) holds the greatest potential for future profits and reduction of global CO2 emissions depends both on mill-specific conditions and on the surrounding energy system through e.g. policy instruments and energy market prices.
In this paper the trade-off, in terms of system revenue and global CO2 emission consequences, between different technology pathways for utilization of excess heat at chemical kraft pulp mills is investigated for a case depicting a typical Scandinavian mill of today. The trade-off is analysed for four future energy market scenarios having different levels of CO2 charge. The technology pathways included in this study are (1) increased electricity production in new condensing turbines, (2) production of district heating, (3) increased sales of biomass in the form of bark and/or lignin, and (4) carbon capture and storage (CCS). Lignin extraction and CCS are considered as new and emerging pathways and the other pathways are considered to be well-tried.
The results show that well-tried pathways such as increased electricity production in new turbines, selling bark and district heating production are economically robust, i.e. they are profitable for all of the studied energy market scenarios. The new and emerging technology pathways such as carbon capture and storage and lignin extraction hold a larger potential for reduction of global CO2 emissions, but their economic profitability is more dependent on the development of the energy market. All in all, it can be concluded that to realize the larger potential of reduction of global CO2 emissions a high carbon cost alone may not be sufficient. Other economic stimulations are required, e.g. technology-specific subsidies.